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Lakers water polo teams make final run at playoffs

The season has come down to the wire for Lake Oswego's boys and girls water polo teams.

The Laker boys find themselves in third place behind Newberg and Tualatin and will take on Sandy in a playoff game where the winner will advance to the state tournament.

Sandy is the No. 1 seed from the Mt. Hood Conference this year but Laker coach T.J. Harney believes that his team has a very good shot at making another trip to state.

'We match up well with Sandy and if the team keeps playing as well as it has, we have a shot at beating them,' Harney said.

Lake Oswego has been steadily making strides all season.

'The boys team has been playing better than expected,' Harney said.

Beau Brumley has continued to wreak havoc on opposing team's defenses. Brumley has been virtually unstoppable and has firmly established himself as one of the state's top players while providing Lake Oswego with the bulk of its offense this year.

It has been somewhat of an up and down season for the Lakers as they have knocked off some stiff competition but Harney still believes that they could be in even better shape heading into the playoffs.

'We have had a few games slip by us that we should have won but the team's morale is high,' Harney said.

Lake Oswego's success in the postseason may rest on the shoulders of its defense which has been playing extremely well of late.

'John Urstadt, Josh Friedman and Tamas Thibeau really shut teams down on offense,' Harney said.

For the girls, the Lakers find themselves tied for third place with Tigard and will play a tiebreaker match with the Tigers to see who will advance to the playoffs.

Lake Oswego has battled with playing at the top of its game all year but the young team has started to gel in recently games.

'The girls team is talented but they still need to work on their consistency,' Harney said.

Marina Howard, Karin Rottman, Stacey and Lisa Carigg make up the core of the team's attack.

'They work well together but when one of them is out it is hard to keep the team chemistry together,' Harney said.

Defense has also proven to be crucial for the girls team, particularly at the goalie position.

'Our back-up goalie, Taylor Christensen, is showing remarkable improvement and has saved us on a few defensive miscommunications,' Harney said.

Both the boys and girls teams are hoping to use this successful season as a foundation for bigger and better things down the road. 'We have a lot of young players on both teams who are seeing a lot of playing time, which will be good for the future of the program, but our focus is on playoffs and our goal of making the state tournament,' Harney said.